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Can You Have Only One Symptom of Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition which is common among almost all people. It can be triggered at any time and sometimes it can also be mistaken as a more severe case because of its symptoms. So what is causing acid reflux? If we’re talking about triggering factors, there will be a lot to consider. However, scientifically, acid reflux is a simple condition that results from simple malfunction of a part in the stomach called the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter. This LES is a band of muscles which has the sole purpose of opening and closing every time food enters our stomach. It literally connects the stomach and esophagus, and works to prevent gastric acids from backing up the track.

can you have only one symptom of acid refluxOur stomach produces gastric acids to help digest food. Once triggered or stimulated, gastric acids can be produced at excessive levels. These excess acids are leaked to the esophageal track if in any case the LES is not strong enough to hold them back. When this happens, even partially digested food goes along with the acid, and may cause irritation, pain and a burning sensation.

Most Common Symptom of Acid Reflux Disease

Some may ask if there is a possibility of experiencing only one symptom of acid reflux. Actually acid reflux has only one major symptom and that is heartburn. All other symptoms are after effect but the very first indication will be a burning sensation radiating in the chest, neck and throat.

The term “acid reflux” and “heartburn” are often interchanged and used in the same manner as if both are the same, when in fact, acid reflux is the condition itself and heartburn is the symptom that goes along with the condition. Other symptoms that may become apparent during acid reflux are pain in the upper abdomen, difficulty ingesting food, nausea, vomiting, acrid or sour taste in the mouth, and loss of appetite.

Common Triggering Factors

You must be aware of certain things that may trigger acid reflux such as the type of food we eat. It has been proven that acid reflux often occurs after a heavy meal. Foods that stimulate gastric acids include citrus fruits, and other fruits with high levels of ph such as unripe bananas and mangoes. You must also avoid fatty products like chocolate and carbonated or caffeine rich beverages.

What are the Dangers?

Although acid reflux is not life threatening at an early stage, if left untreated, there is a possibility for it to become severe and develop into a more serious condition known as GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease. At this point, the inner protective lining of the esophagus will be severely irritated and can be worn out. This is a different case called erosive esophagitis, which is recognizable through medical procedures like endoscopy. If you are having recurrent attacks of acid reflux that is beyond normal, tell your doctor immediately. The physician will know the proper cure given the extent of the damage brought by the disease.

Treatment Recommendations

The most natural way of preventing acid reflux is through change of diet and lifestyle. Here are some alternative ways of relieving yourself from the symptoms.

  • Unusual it may seem, but sleeping on your left side will help prevent symptoms of acid reflux.
  • Keep your head elevated when sleeping to reduce heartburn. You can do this by placing two pillows or raising your bed like those in hospitals.
  • Eat frequent but with small portions of meals. Skipping meals will urge you to eat big meals at inappropriate times and this will only aggravate the condition.
  • Saliva is a natural alkaline that helps neutralize gastric acids in the throat. To stimulate this, it would help to chew gum every after meals. However, minty gums can worsen acid reflux, so be careful when choosing chewing gums.
  • After eating a large meal, do not lie down immediately. This will easily trigger acid reflux and can also result to indigestion. Health experts recommend waiting 4 hours after dinner before getting to bed.

These are common knowledge that each one of us must know about to avoid misconceptions and to rid us of our worries about the condition. Heartburn is widely considered as the first symptom of acid reflux but like any other symptoms, it can also be prevented. If acid reflux occurs once in a while, that should be considered as normal. If you ever feel that the symptoms have escalated to a different level, gone severe or are becoming recurrent, consult your doctor as soon as time allows.